Axios Richmond

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๐Ÿค— Friday, we're so happy you're here.

๐ŸŒฆ๏ธ Today's weather: Partly sunny with a chance of showers and a high near 79.

๐ŸŽง Sounds like: "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, in honor of Miss Dolly saying she thinks Beyoncรฉ recorded it for her new country album.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Richmond member Jill Wood!

Today's newsletter is 902 words โ€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: ๐Ÿง‘โ€๐Ÿณ Explore Julia Child's influence

"Julia Child: A Recipe for Life" runs through early Sept. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

An exhibition about Julia Child โ€” the chef, author and TV personality who made French cuisine approachable for Americans โ€” opens tomorrow at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

Why it matters:, Child had a profound influence on American food culture that ultimately transformed the country's culinary scene.

The big picture: Richmond is the first of only two East Coast stops for the traveling exhibition, "Julia Child: A Recipe for Life." It's dedicated to exploring Child's life and legacy. Highlights include:

  • Colorful images from Child's life.
  • Handwritten recipes and notes.
  • Clips from her long-running show, "The French Chef."
  • And an 8-foot-tall digital copy of her book,"Mastering the Art of French Cooking."
A dining table in front of a big pic of a french restaurant
Each course of the Childs' meal appears on the plates. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

Plus, interactive installations allow visitors to:

  • Experience a meal at La Couronne, the restaurant where Child had her first French meal.
  • Recreate moments from Child's life, like her and husband Paul's famous bathtub Valentine card.
  • Try their hand at wine pairings.
  • And stand in (and work the camera) a replica "The French Chef" set.
Karri and chef David Shannon in a bathub
Axios Richmond's Karri Peifer with L'Opossum chef / owner David Shannon. It was his idea. Photo: Paige Newman/VMHC

Zoom in: Child's influence on American cuisine extends to inspiring many of Virginia's most celebrated chefs.

Were it not for Julia Child, chef and owner Patrick O'Connell likely never would've opened The Inn at Little Washington, the award-winning restaurant in a small Virginia mountain town.

  • The self-taught chef honed his craft by cooking his way through Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." By 1974, he was a struggling caterer in that town when he had a chance to meet Child. Her passion and a few words of kindness gave him all the confidence he needed to keep at it.
  • Four years later, he'd open the Inn. Child became a frequent diner, and a suite is named in her honor.

Today, The Inn at Little Washington is one of only 13 three-Michelin-star restaurants in the county.

  • And the stove where O'Connell once cooked Child's recipes opens the "Julia Child: A Recipe for Life" exhibit at the Virginia museum.
Patrick Oconnell stands in front of his stove
Inn at Little Washington owner Patrick O'Connell in front of an installation about him. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

If you go: "Julia Child: A Recipe for Life" runs through Sept. 2 at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

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2. ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Where Virginia's Irish Americans live

โ˜˜๏ธ Share of people reporting Irish ancestry
Data: U.S. Census; Chart: Axios Visuals

The luck of the Irish is alive and well in Virginia.

The big picture: About 8.7% of Virginians reported having Irish ancestry in 2022, according to the latest census data.

  • That's lower than the U.S. average of 9.5%.

Yes, but: Nearly 18% of residents in Lexington City โ€” about two hours from Richmond โ€” are Irish Americans, which ranks them in the top 100 in the country.

  • At more than 16%, Rappahannock County and Orange County have the next highest percentages of Irish Virginians.
  • It's about 10%, or 1 in 10 people, in Hanover, Goochland and Colonial Heights.
  • Chesterfield is just below that at 8.5%.

Zoom in: Richmond and Henrico are below the state and U.S. averages at about 7.8%.

  • Petersburg has the lowest percentage of Irish people in the state at 1%.

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3. ๐ŸŒŠ The Current: The Broad Street Costco is getting bigger

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

๐Ÿšง The Costco in Henrico is planning a 20,000-square-foot expansion of its current 131,000-square-foot warehouse. (BizSense)

  • Plans include a 24-pump fuel station and 795 parking spaces.

๐Ÿ€ Richmond is out of the Atlantic 10 Tournament after a surprise 66-61 loss to St. Joseph's University. (Times-Dispatch)

  • VCU, who beat UMass 73-59 in the quarterfinal, will play St. Joseph's in the semifinal Saturday at 1pm on CBS Sports.

๐Ÿ” Lawmakers allocated $100,000 in Virginia's pending budget toward an outside review of the state's system for responding to complaints against school districts regarding students with disabilities. (Virginia Mercury)

๐Ÿšข The future of expeditions to the Titanic is being decided in Virginia. (AP)

4. ๐Ÿฅณ A look at Virginia's history-making women

The Maggie L. Walker statue was unveiled in 2017 in Jackson Ward. Image: Courtesy of the Valentine

In celebration of Women's History Month, we're diving in to some of Virginia's legendary, history-making women.

Elizabeth Van Lew

Van Lew was a Richmond elite and abolitionist in the mid-1800s and a Union spy who ran an espionage network and helped prisoners of war escape.

Maggie L. Walker

Walker was a civil rights activist born in Richmond and the first Black woman in the U.S. to start and become president of a bank.

Fun fact: Walker's great great granddaughter, Liza Mickens, lives in Richmond.

Eleanor Parker Sheppard

Parker Sheppard was a Georgia native who went on to become the first woman ever elected to Richmond City Council and Richmond's first female mayor in 1962. She also helped create VCU.

Dorothy Height

Height was a Richmond-born civil rights activist who helped organize the March on Washington in 1963, where she stood next to Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Bill Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the 1990s.

Elizabeth Guzmรกn and Hala Ayala

They became the first two Latinas elected to the Virginia legislature in 2017. Both beat Republican incumbents that year.

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5. โšฝ๏ธ Meet the Ivys

Image: Courtesy of Richmond Ivy

Richmond's new women's soccer team has a name: the Richmond Ivy Soccer Club.

Why it matters: The Richmond Ivy team spent nearly a year developing the name and crest, meant to pay homage to the city's landscape and architecture.

  • Plus, Ivy, like Richmond, forms strong bonds, overcomes obstacles, and just keeps climbing, per a news release.

Catch up quick: Last year, the USL W league announced it was coming back to Richmond for the first time since 2009.

  • The new team will play at City Stadium and is affiliated with the Richmond Kickers.

What's next: The Ivys take the pitch for the first time on May 11 .

๐Ÿ’— Karri is still basking in the glow of the seven-course, Julia Child-inspired dinner that David Shannon at L'opossum created in Patrick O'Connell's honor.

๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Sabrina will not rest until she finds out what Jolene looked like.

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and Carlin Becker for copy editing today's edition.